WILLMAR — "'I Relay because someday I could save my own life,' and look how that turned out?" Tina Erpenbach of Spicer, president of Northern States Supply and an Honorary Survivor this year at Kandiyohi County's Relay For Life event, has been active in supporting and helping run the event for the past 18 years as a team captain, committee member and even the event chair. Her work with Relay For Life began when she lost her mother to cancer.
WILLMAR — Most who enter the genealogy room at the stevne know their connection to Norway, but a few may just be learning from where their ancestors came. "Well, of course, you know the family name. Do you know the parish? No? Or maybe the name of a family farm?" At the Seven-Lag Stevne, held this year in Willmar, the room dedicated to genealogy Friday at the Willmar Conference Center was full of people milling about and learning more about their Norwegian family history.
ATWATER — In the organized chaos of an elementary school classroom, bold shapes and bright colors adorn the walls, adding elements of learning to the very scenery of the room. On one wall hangs a diagram to teach about the different seasons and the weather, felt to match the warm yet vibrant energy of the room.
WILLMAR — Despite being a town for almost 150 years, there has never been an official book detailing the town of Willmar. Our local history, preserved at the Kandiyohi County's Historical Society and the Willmar Public Library and in the family photo albums, has never been compiled into one accessible volume for people to learn about Willmar. That is, until now.
WILLMAR — Coffee machines whir in the background, brewing a shot of espresso for a waiting customer's caramelized almond latte. The Dunn Brothers' barista expertly pours the espresso over ice, followed by milk and a few pumps of syrup. Just outside the coffee shop is a new exhibit, one to mark the 2018 Willmar Fests celebration while paying homage to the history of the town. A town with a strong affinity for coffee. Willmar Fests was formerly known as Kaffe Fest, a celebration of Willmar's Scandinavian heritage and love for coffee.
WILLMAR — At the crossing of Willmar's Fifth Street and Becker Avenue Southwest, there were plenty of festivities to take in Thursday evening. Carnival games and activities lined the streets for the Willmar Fests Jaycees Block Party, an annual event that brings the community to downtown Willmar during the second full day of Willmar Fests. The annual city celebration continues through Sunday. With food trucks, human hamster balls, and a few Minute-2-Win-It activities, the Block Party was in full swing soon after it began at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.
WILLMAR — On the first day of Willmar Fests, community members gathered at the Willmar Community Center to watch the coronation of the coming year's senior ambassadors. The theme was "Willmar's #1 Playground 'the Sr. Club," based on the area's excitement over several new and improved area parks and playgrounds in the past year, including Willmar's Destination Playground at Robbins Island and Rice Park Splash Pad.
ATWATER – Held on the third weekend of June every year, Atwater Days is a time for the town’s residents to celebrate community, shared history, and their town of around 1,100. This year, one Atwater resident is taking community pride to the next level, organizing a lemonade stand during Atwater Days to raise money to replace the American flag at his school.
WILLMAR — What do gourds, children's books and clay have to do with one another? The 2018 Lakes Area Art Studio Hop. Studio Hop is an event where area artists open their studios and creative spaces to the public, featuring numerous art forms including carved gourds, illustrated children's books, pottery, handmade jewelry and oil paintings. This year's Studio Hop marks the 14th annual celebration of local art, undeniable evidence of the community's commitment to the arts and, more specifically, to supporting local artists.
BROOTEN — Most dairy farms in the area use advanced milking technology — from milk carousels to multiple-stall robotic milking systems — to get the job done. Efficiency and productivity are the main goals, uniting human and machine to get every last drop of milk off to a dairy processing facility. But out on the Handt family farm, things are done differently. Traditionally.